New documentary, "Hand Held," premieres Friday as part of Romanian Rhapsody

Posted: Thursday, September 23, 2010

A new documentary film, "Hand Held," will premiere in Juneau Friday as part of a two-day Juneau fundraiser for Romanian Children's Relief. The movie begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Juneau-Douglas High School Auditorium.

"Hand Held" is the story of internationally acclaimed photographer Michael Carroll, who is also the founder and president of Romanian Children's Relief. Carroll was one of the first photographers to travel to Romania after the fall of the communist regime in 1989. When he arrived, he walked into one of the most horrific scenes of the 20th century.

What followed was a 20-year odyssey for Carroll and his colleagues as they fought to bring help to a population of children in need, in a country that they hardly knew.

The film was directed by two-time Academy-Award nominee Don Hahn, whose credits include "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," "Lion King," "Beauty and the Beast," "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and "Waking Sleeping Beauty." Hahn shot in Boston, Bucharest, and Bistrita for nearly two years on this motion picture about one guy with a camera, a band of New Englanders, 160,000 orphans, and the unforgettable story of how they changed each other's lives forever.

Tickets are $10 at, both locations of Hearthside Books and at the door.

The Romanian Rhapsody fundraiser begins at 6 p.m. tonight at St. Ann's Parish Hall, 416 Fifth St., with wine and a four-course gourmet Romanian dinner, prepared by chef Laraine Derr of Chez Alaska Cooking School. Music will be provided by Flutatious, a local flute quartet, and a silent auction will be include desserts, vacation homestays, meals, wines and more.

The cost is $50 per person, or $95 for two and tickets are available through the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council office, Hearthside Books and at the door.

Romanian Rhapsody is being organized by long-time Juneau resident Kelly Tonsmeire, an old friend and high school and college classmate of Carroll. For further information call Tonsmeire at 364-2458.

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